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SOSC 3993 lecture notes 4 -Research Design.docx

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 3993
Tracy Supruniuk

SOSC 3993 May 21, 2013 Lecture 4- Research Design  4 general Purposes of Social Research 1. Exploration  Good for researches you have very little knowledge about  Ex: 19 80 the study done on gangs, and why people join?  As much knowledge, preliminary knowledge of the topic  Getting a background on the topic 2. Description  Goal or aim of describing something  Some research is soley to describe things  Ex: Canadian census 3. Explanation  Concerned with answering how and why  Usually concerned/ associated with casual connection between variables 4. Evaluation  Applied research  Concerned with solving political problems  One of two forms: 1) Program evaluation  Looks at policies, if it works the way it was designed to work  Ex: safe needle program  Reduces illness/ death rates  Are they operating to prevent this? 2) Policy analysis  If it is working and what changes must be made  Units of Analysis o People or things researchers are studying o 4 units of analysis 1. Individuals (common)  Finding information about individuals 2. Groups  Picking people for a study based on the idea they belong o a group  Ex: teams, classrooms, religious groups 3. Organizations  Formal/ structured in nature  Political or social in nature  Ex: different political parties in Canada 4. Social Artifacts  Laws, songs, books, crime reports  Objects, things visually observed or transcribed  Ex: mob movies  Errors of Reasoning 1. Ecological fallacy  Draw conclusions made to individuals when they are studying groups 2. Reductionism  Building descriptions of systems out of the descriptions of the subsystems that a system is composed of, and ignoring the relationships between them.  Ex: Major elements of racism 3. Tautology  Explain something through circular reasoning  Using different words to say the same thing 4. Teleology  Refers to an argument that explain the cause and effect of the function of the purpose, ultimate purpose and function  Ex: religious explanation,  God wants it to be that way o Error of reasoning  Is there a relation of no relationship between variables  Causal connection o 3 criteria for causality 1) Temporal order  Change in one variable has to occur in time before you see a change in another variable o Ex: if you t
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